This morning I woke up to a screaming headache. My ears were ringing at an even higher octave than the night before and I wondered how much more of the tinnitus I could take. I recalled meeting a woman who said she had suffered for 20 years and I asked her how she lived with it. “Some days are better than others,” she said.
I vowed that I would break out of this joint before doing 20 when I realized that I sounded like a character in a prison movie. “We’re getting outta here see.”
I walked past the mirror and looked at myself and could see that my pain was visible. The ringing started to sound like an old Negro Spiritual; “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrow.”
As soon as I began to feel like that song had been written for me I began to slump into a poor pitiful me posture and I remembered the woman who shared the 20 year advice, “Some days are better than others.”
I sat down at the place where I’ve been writing for the past 103 days, turned on my computer and tried to see through eyes that hurt. Writing early in the morning has given me solace and relief in ways I can’t even begin to measure. I took a quick glance at my overnight emails and wondered why so many people were up working that late and then I found a cure.
A message on Twitter from a woman named Barbara stopped me right in my tracks. Her simple note encouraged, uplifted, corrected and shook me back to my senses. Barbara had re-tweeted a message that I had left leading others to the blog.
In my original message I had written “Becoming your best one day at a time.” I love when someone gives me back the message I need right when I need the most.
Once when I was on a plane the woman next to me was sharing her life and story. I listened knowing that it would be good and it was. We talked about the death of our loved ones and about moving forward. It turned out that both of our mothers had just passed away, so we both had a good cry. Then she gave me my own advice. This stranger who did not know me actually quoted something I had written in the novel When Love Calls you Better Answer.
“I think the author is Beatrice Benny,” the woman said. “I can’t remember, but anyway, the book said that you have to remember that dead don’t mean done.” She went on to tell me what I had told her and I cried some more. I handed her a card, and told her that I was the author and we cried again but this time it was all joy.
In that moment we knew the power of Love, God and the ancestors and we knew that in the perfect moment we had been placed next to each other to be reminded that dead don’t mean done; all things work together and that we were loved.
I had another one of those moments this morning when I read Barbara’s re-tweet of the link to yesterday’s post. To my message, Barbara had added her own. It was to the point and exactly what I needed. “I love you Bertice.”
In the one simple phrase Barbara had reached down into my soul and pulled up my truth; I am not what is happening, nor am I what has happened I am loved and I am Love.
In the past few days, I had become fearful. I speak for a living and for my life’s purpose so hearing is pretty critical to it. I had read about other sufferers and began to sink down in a collective woe. As I read the tails of others the ringing seemed to get louder. I had refrained from telling folks just how bad it is because I had grown tired of the well-meaning help and advice that gives no relief. But as I have written; I am not this body. I am the soul that lives within.
When I read Barbara’s note, the ringing did not stop, my headache did not cease, but I felt renewed and overjoyed. The love of a stranger who had been moved by something that I had written was what I needed to remind myself that wellness and recovery do not happen overnight, they happen every night. One day I will wake up and the ringing will be gone, I know it.
When I lost 150 pounds I didn’t go to bed in a 1x and wake up in an 8 (sometimes 6 depending on the cut,) it happened after I devoted every single day to being better than I was the day before. There were days that were harder than others and some that felt like I was riding on the wind. Then there were those days when I let fear of the past and the future creep in. I feared that I’d be what I had been called; ugly. And I feared that I’d never be more than I was in that moment. Fear can paralyze you and lock you into the place of doubt and disbelief.
Love casts out fear.
Start this day by loving yourself, and then pass it on
You have no idea how much someone else needs to hear the same thing that you do
We are all on a journey of wellness and we need each other.
So thank you Barbara, I love you too.
Be well, be you, be Love
Bertice Berry, PhD.